STI vs. STD: What's The Difference?


October 07, 2015



If you have been looking for free STD (sexually transmitted disease) testing services in Indianapolis – you’ve come to the right place. We provide free testing for STDs – we just use a different term, “STI”, which stands for sexually transmitted infection. However, we’re still talking about the same conditions: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and more. What was once only known as STDs are now often referred to as STIs (sexually transmitted infection).

STI or STD: Which Term Is Correct?

In some cases, STD and STI are used interchangeably, while other organizations use both terms. In the past, STD was the commonly used name for any condition that, according to the Mayo Clinic, “may pass from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.” However, it is important to know that STIs can be passed from person-to-person outside of sexual contact, such as through pregnancy and birth, or needle sharing.

Why STI Instead of STD?

The term disease is often associated with symptoms or signs of an underlying condition. But, some STIs don’t have outward symptoms, or can take time to develop. And, the word disease often implies that a condition cannot be cured – while some STIs can be cured completely (such as chlamydia). For these reasons, we prefer to use the term STI. In the end, we are still referring to the same set of conditions.

How Can I Get Tested For STI/STDs?

The Damien Center provides free STI testing for these conditions (including HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis), and we welcome appointments or drop-in visits to our testing center.

What Happens After I Get Tested For STI/STDs?

If you are exhibiting symptoms, you will be referred to a medical provider for immediate care. If symptoms are not present, you’ll receive your final test results before being referred to a medical provider. No matter what the results of your test, The Damien Center’s professional staff will educate you about your options, and help you plan your course of action.